2017-06-08 / Life in Leelanau

Class of 2017 recognized for extracurricular achievements

GLEN LAKE
—Story by Jay Bushen


GLEN LAKE grads toss their caps Sunday following the post-ceremony class photo in front of the school. GLEN LAKE grads toss their caps Sunday following the post-ceremony class photo in front of the school. A distinguished group of 68 seniors made its way across the stage inside the Glen Lake gymnasium on Sunday.

Glen Lake football coach Jerry Angers, the “guest speaker” at this year’s ceremony, described just how distinguished the Class of 2017 was toward the end of his speech.

The senior class, as Angers pointed out, featured 28 students with a 3.3 GPA or higher; 14 National Honor Society members; a dozen allied health students; national Envirothon qualifiers; contributors to a recycling program in the school cafeteria; robotics team standouts; all-conference, all-region and all-state athletes; and six future college athletes, including a three-time state golf champion.

About half of the seniors took four or more Advanced Placement classes or attended early college and, not surprisingly, the Class of 2017 garnered more than $100,000 in local scholarships.


GLEN LAKE seniors Hannah Wright and Oscar Okerlund make their way into the gym. 
Photo: Don Miller GLEN LAKE seniors Hannah Wright and Oscar Okerlund make their way into the gym. Photo: Don Miller “It’s just amazing how productive this class has been,” said Angers, whose speech was jam-packed with anecdotes, quotes—including one from rapper Eminem—and advice.

Angers also lauded the seniors for their “many, many hours of community service and other selfless pursuits,” and for their ability to stick together and make it through challenging times.

He reminded the class of their sophomore year in which they dealt with the death of two schoolmates and, later, the death of a classmate.

“There are lessons to be learned from these tragedies, and one of the most important ones is you can make it through anything,” Angers said. “At a young age, you had to learn to continue to fight through adversity.


GRADUATION ATTENDEES snap photos of seniors from their smartphones. GRADUATION ATTENDEES snap photos of seniors from their smartphones. “You showed your strength. You showed your courage.”

Angers’ speech followed a student address from Glen Bredin, Cathy Daniel and Annie Lively; the superintendent address from Sander Scott; and a “senior video,” which was produced by Daniel.

Daniel, one of 13 Lakers with a gold cord for a GPA between 3.8 and 4.0, said teamwork and tough times helped the seniors grow together.

“I’m going to miss them,” Daniel said. “It was like a big family.”

Glen Lake no longer recognizes a valedictorian or salutatorian, but the commencement bulletin acknowledged all local scholarship and academic honors recipients.

The other gold cord honorees were Bredin, Kelly Bunek, Sarah Carney, Nichole Cox, Grace Daniels, Lavern Dreves, Lili Kaastra, Annie Lively, Peter Macke, Jacob Palmer, Stephanie Purifoy, and Mike Skipski.

“Certainly we had a lot of great scholars and a lot of great studentathletes, but overall I just think we had a lot of good kids that came from a good community,” Scott said.

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